June 17, 2021

BY FAITH

PATHWAY FROM FEAR

By Rev. Dr. Dwayne Bond

Fear has a way of crippling and hindering us from both experiencing the life that we have and progressing forward. As humans, we fear certain things, people and situations. Some of us fear the future, success or failure, while others fear public speaking, poverty or dying. Although fear is a normal human emotion, left unchecked, it can trap, enslave and hold anyone hostage. In addition, it can lead to anxiety, depression and even despair.

 

What in your life are you fearful about right now? What has consumed your heart and mind with fear? How have you chosen to address your fear? Typically, when we discover that we are fearful, we either seek to deal with it by attempting to overcome it, by controlling people or situations or by simply becoming overwhelmed. Some find it easiest to deny that it even exists. Is it possible to gain victory over fear and to be freed from its paralyzing grip?

 

Scripture says in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” In addition, the apostle Paul encourages his young disciple in 2 Timothy 1:7 by reminding him that, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” From these passages, it’s clear that God knows that we will be fearful, but desires that we not be hindered and entangled by fear.

 

In Psalm 27:1, David declares, “The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Based on these and countless other Scriptures, we see that overcoming fear requires more than our willpower, strength, intention, words and ability. We need the Lord. When David was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write these hope-filled words, he was in a life-threatening dilemma. Bloodthirsty and evil people were trying to destroy him. At a time when fear could have gripped his soul, he sought the Lord.

 

How did David seek the Lord? David reminded himself who the Lord was and what He had done. David knew that the Lord wasn’t simply the light and salvation, but instead He was his light and salvation. He made God’s presence personal. As His light, he understood that the Lord was the only path worth following, even though his circumstances appeared dark. As his salvation, he reminded himself that God was his source of rescue. Both of these realities refreshed David’s heart and assured him that he didn’t have to fear anything or anyone.

 

Secondly, David recalled that the Lord was his stronghold or refuge. This truth also guarded him from being afraid of people and circumstances. The word “stronghold” means fortress, temple or guarded tower. When fear was seeking to strangle him, he knew that the Lord was his safe place and ultimate protection.

 

The Scripture teaches us that in order to overcome fear in our lives, we need more than ourselves; we need the Lord. As you think about your life, what circumstances, decisions, next steps or people need reminders that the Lord is your light, salvation and stronghold? Embracing these truths from God’s Word can enable us to walk by faith, instead of succumbing to a lifestyle of fear. Experiencing victory over fear is impossible without the Lord. May your heart acknowledge your need for Him and may this beautiful reminder of who He is encourage and strengthen you as you live a life of faith and trust (Psalm 56:3).

Influential and inspirational women have always played a significant role in the moving forward of family, culture, business and society. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, in 2017, women owned more than 11.6 million businesses in the U.S., which generated $1.7 trillion in sales. Not only are woman thriving in business, they are also pursuing higher education in increasing numbers. [...]